“I get it from both perspectives,” Franklin said in the Inquirer interview. “But one of the things that I worry about a little bit is I do think college athletics, and specifically football, have a very important role in our society of teaching how to overcome adversity, mental toughness, physical toughness.“Most of these guys have been bigger, stronger, faster, smarter than everybody, and for the first time in their life, they’re challenged with that. They’re around a bunch of guys that are like that. And they learn to buckle down and find a way to overcome the adversity.”The Nittany Lions are coming off their third-straight season of nine wins or more, and are set to bring in another superb recruiting class in 2019.However, the loss of so many players – especially Stevens – means that the Penn State depth chart is going to look very different this coming season.We’ll see whether Franklin can coach so many young studs to another Big Ten title.[The Philadelphia Inquirer] GLENDALE, AZ – DECEMBER 30: Head coach James Franklin of the Penn State Nittany Lions on the sidelines during the first half of the Playstation Fiesta Bowl against the Washington Huskies at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 30, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. The Nittany Lions defeated the Huskies 35-28. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)Few Power Five football programs have seen as many players leave this off-season via the transfer portal as Penn State. With Nittany Lions departures numbering in the double-digits, head coach James Franklin addressed the recent exodus.In a recent interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer, Franklin stated that the recent wave of departures was likely a result of a “perfect storm” of problems. He explained that the introduction of the transfer portal along with many recruits losing their jobs to younger players may have prompted the various moves.“We had a number of young players that started, and that can create some challenges within your locker room when you’ve got a bunch of young players coming in and earning starting jobs,” Franklin told the Inquirer’s Joe Juliano.“So it kind of was a perfect storm of a new rule going in place, and a bunch of young players starting.”Ten Penn State players have already found new destinations. Top quarterback prospect Tommy Stevens is heading to Mississippi State while four-star wideout Juwan Johnson is heading to Oregon.Franklin went on to lament that the transfer portal is making it easier for players to avoid having to face adversity.
Mr Evans posted on Facebook that he flew to Rome on Tuesday evening and met the Pope on Wednesday morning.Posting photos of himself kissing Pope Francis’s hand, he wrote: “No sleep! No food! No tie! No Care!”Last night I jumped on a plane and come to the Vatican, Rome, to meet the Pope one hour ago and here we are.” Tom Evans, pictured right, after flying to Rome to meet the PopeCredit:Tiziana Fabi/AFP But Lord Justice Davis, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Moylan ruled against them after an appeal court hearing in London. In a video streamed on Wednesday morning Mr Evans said he was waiting for the Pope to mention Alfie in front of crowds at the Vatican.Crowds calling themselves ‘Alfie’s Army’ ended their fifth day of protests outside Alder Hey on Monday following a plea from the parents.During his general audience afterwards, the Pope led the crowd in a moment of silent prayer for Alfie.At the beginning of April, Francis tweeted his support for the youngster, posting: “It is my sincere hope that everything necessary may be done in order to continue compassionately accompanying little Alfie Evans, and that the deep suffering of his parents may be heard.”I am praying for Alfie, for his family and for all who are involved.”Earlier this week Francis said: “It’s our duty to do everything to care for life.” In February, Mr Justice Hayden ruled that doctors at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool could stop treating Alfie against the wishes of his parents following hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in London and Liverpool.Specialists at Alder Hey said life-support treatment should stop and Mr Justice Hayden said he accepted medical evidence which showed that further treatment was futile.Alfie’s parents say “the state” is wrongly interfering with their parental choice.They want to move Alfie to a hospital in Rome.Mr Justice Hayden said flying Alfie to a foreign hospital would be wrong and pointless. Court of Appeal judges upheld his decisions.Supreme Court justices and European Court of Human Rights judges refused to intervene. Alfie Evans in hospitalCredit:Alfie’s Army Official/PA After a sleepless journey to the Vatican, Tom Evans, father of terminally-ill toddler Alfie, attends Pope Francis’ general audience in St Peter’s SquareCredit:Gregorio Borgia/AP Alfie Evans, pictured right, and his parents Tom Evans, pictured right in the left picture, and Kate JamesCredit:PA The father of Alfie Evans kissed the hand of the Pope and begged him to save the life of his son after flying to Rome.Tom Evans, 21, and Kate James, 20, want to move their son from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool to the Italian capital for treatment and have launched a second application to the Supreme Court.They have already lost fights in the High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights after Mr Justice Hayden ruled that doctors could stop providing life-support treatment for the 23-month old.Judges have heard that Alfie, born on May 9 2016, is in a semi-vegetative state and has a degenerative neurological condition doctors have not definitively diagnosed. Mr Justice Hayden said flying Alfie to a foreign hospital would be wrong and pointless.But his parents are desperate to move their son abroad, and Mr Evans is seeking support from the head of the Catholic Church. Alfie Evans’ parents latest legal battle to fly their son to Rome ends in defeatThe parents of Alfie Evans who has been at the centre of a life-support treatment battle lost their latest legal challenge on Monday.A lawyer representing Tom Evans, 21, and Kate James, 20, returned to the Court of Appeal to ask judges to rule that the 23 month-old should be allowed to travel to a foreign hospital. Tom Evans, the father of Aflie Evans, meets the pope at the Vatican in Italy Wednesday morning “Alfie, we will do everything for you. You’re not dying so we won’t allow your life to be taken.”Your holiness save our son.” Last week, Mr Justice Hayden endorsed a detailed plan put forward by Alder Hey doctors for withdrawing life-support treatment, after considering a number of issues at a follow-up High Court hearing.Barrister Paul Diamond, who represented Alfie’s parents, on Monday asked the three appeal judges to overturn decisions made by Mr Justice Hayden last week.Alfie’s parents say their son has improved in recent weeks and had asked Mr Justice Hayden to allow a new assessment, but Mr Hayden refused that request. He said medical experts’ unanimous view was that Alfie’s brain had been eroded by disease and further assessment was pointless.They also suggested that Alfie was being unlawfully detained at Alder Hey.The judge also dismissed that suggestion.Appeal court officials said an appeal court judge had decided that Alfie should continue to receive treatment pending the outcome of Monday’s Court of Appeal hearing. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.